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if they hold it up, past january 1, the first bill the democrats will introduce, ar te the obama tax cuts and he proposes to relower the rates -- >> if they don't do something the taxes go up for everybody. >> yes. and the president proposes relowering them to somewhere near bush rates for everybody under 250 and the republicans don't want to be in a position of stopping that. >> chris: but why, byron, were they unable to do anything about the real problem? i mean -- if you take the amount 0 -- say, 400,000, it would be $600 billion increase in revenue to the government, over the next ten years. $600 billion, in terms of a deficit of $16 trillion, going up, by another 2.5, $3 trillion in the next ten years is peanuts. >> you heard lindsay graham talk about entitlement reform and the debt ceiling issue but if you look at -- among democrats, especially, further to the left, since the election, their feeling has been, president obama won, we will not take this out of seniors, we will not take it out of medicare, we will not take it out of social security. no cuts, and those things and that p
and signed by president obama. the idea being to make it so painful not to cut a deal on taxes and spending that they would be forced to cut a deal on taxes and spending. except keeping them honest, they haven't done it. even though they knew the stakes, they knew the deadline, and both sides promised that this time things would be different. >> we need to return to fiscal responsibility. >> how is it that we're going to be able to do that? getting our fiscal house in order. >> the american people have spoken loudly. they want us to get our fiscal house in order. >> fiscal handcuffs on this congress that are sorely needed. >> washington is beginning to get its fiscal house in order. >> so they approve legislation that gave everyone nearly a year and a half to reach a long-term agreement on spending and taxes or face truly punishing consequences if they didn't. you'll remember at the time this was a really big deal. republicans had forced the issue by refusing to raise the debt ceiling without budget cuts. markets went haywire. gabby giffords even returned to washington from rehab from her a
, obama says my plan is that if you make less than $200,000 you'll see no income tax increase next year, so obama's new commitment is only the income tax, only for one year. >> right. >> and, of course, we're all paying higher taxes in january because of obama care. >> okay. >> taxes on capital gains. >> let me ask you this though, grover. i can imagine you wear it as a badge of honor to this the senate majority leader on the floor of the senate invoking your name in frustration because there are people on the republican side who are, you know, following your -- your lead to not raise taxes, but let's face it. you were in -- you were imposing this no higher tax in a different era, at a different time, in a different part of the economic cycle. aren't we at a point now economically where there has to be some mechanism of revenue raising to try and solve the debt crisis? yes, i know you're going to talk about spending cuts. that's important as well, but you've got to balance the budget in some way, and it's got to include some form of a tax increase, not just on million dollar earners, ag
. let's write a new book. by the way, those are now going to be called the obama tax cuts. i'm calling it first. the obama tax cuts. he's going to write a tax cut bill, send it up to the hill, and they're going to pass it. >> expires on january 2nd. >> do we make them permanent, jimmy? 98% of them will be made permanent? >> i hope not. that is not the job of the government. the government's job is to raise taxes and to lower taxes when our economy needs it. that's what the senate does. john breaux, former senator john breaux from louisiana sat on the floor during the 2001 tax bill and said our job is to raise taxes when they need to be raised and lower them when they need to be lowered. that's the senate and the house's job. >> but, one man's -- is another man's -- if you look at the laugher curve you don't know when to raise and when to lower at this point. >> president obama kept bush's taxes in for two years. >> i know. >> but suddenly, you know, democrats like you love the 98%, and you hate the 2%. it's very weird. >> tell him, joe. >> don't hate the 2%. i'm not a self-loathing hat
essentially rewrite legislation. changing the tax congress passed to declare obama care constitutional which is a littleec scary that the highest justice is -- justices in the land would take the activist roll. that's what is scary. the backdrop of the presidential year was europe. we know where this path leads. all this turmoil, the huge welfare and the low productivity and high unemployment that comes along with them, that was the backdrop of the presidential campaign. voters voted, and they said, yes, we are going to keep moving in that direction, kim. where do you think the electorat is here? is it be ibd hue the choices that -- is it behind the choices that jason suggested they might be? >> barack obamaus won this election by very effectively making this a referendum about his opponent, mitt romney. if you went out and asked most americans, do you think barack obama did a great job in his first term? do you want significantly higher taxes? do you want the government to do nothing about spending? are you happy with obama care? most would say no. but in the end the choice was between a pr
>>> "d" day for president obama and congressional leaders. automatic tax hikes and smaller paychecks hang in the balance. >>> an american military here row the four-star general known as stormin' norman schwarzkopf has died. >>> 16 deaths blamed on the most recent winter storm with another one on the way. >>> a fiscal milk cliff could be humaning. thieves clean out a walmart, including guns, and bears over the bruins in the holiday bowl. "early today" starts right now. >> announcer: this is "early today" for friday, december 28th, 2012. >>> good morning, i'm mara schiavocampo. even as the finger pointing continues on capitol hill this morning there is new hope for a deal to avoid that pass cal cliff. president obama will be meeting with congressional leaders later today. nbc's danielle leigh joins us live with the latest on capitol hill. danielle what is the datest in terms of what we can expect in the next coming days and the likelihood that they can reach a deal? >> reporter: mara, good morning. well, this meeting that is the last meeting at the white house is going to be
the absence of spending cuts on president obama and they know the taxes will go up anyway regardless of what they do if they don't pass anything and they would make the argument they would limit the tax cut and speaker boehner has made the same argument. >> thank you so much. we want to show people what is going on with the after markets because even though john says people are optimistic the markets are not optimistic. right now if the dow jones industrial average were to open at this moment it would be down 315 points. that's a reflection of the futures trading that happens in the after-hours. we'll see how asia opens on monday and right now the markets do not like what they see. they are not optimistic at this point and maybe if a mini deal gets done, a mini deal is not enough to deal with what the country faces. after all of this time the president still wants congress to come up with a plan instead of assuming the leadership mantle himself. let's talk to a member of congress about that. james langford serves in the house budget committee and he joins me now. sir, have you conceded you'r
obama wants higher taxes on the wealthy, stimulus spending, limited cuts to entitlements, and speaker boehner wants limited tax increases and keep his job. bob, which -- where do we go from here if a deal isn't hashed out in the next few hours? >> not necessarily in that order. i think the priorities for john boehner may have been turned around. jared is an old jazz fan, as am i, and he knows that miles davis had a song called "so what" and i think that might be the background music right now as all the posturing is going on in public. the simple fact of the matter is that they are setting up the process for working out a deal after they have scared the daylights out of everybody, and it would seem to me that to quote another song, which is "what are you going to be doing new year's eve," i think that we'll be finding that these people are still hard at it and maybe calling congress into session tomorrow night which is a really rotten way to end the year. >> jared, explain for our viewers what it really means to go over the cliff. >> well, first of all, as a former jazz bassist i have
every single american is going to get hit with five new taxes to pay for obama care. here are a few examples of them. small business owners will see individual tax incomes. medicare payroll tax and for the first time ever the government is capping how much money you can put in your flexible spending account. there's still time to save money on your taxes. we are joined by tax attorney marty for your taxes. >> if you want to reduce your taxes now or in 2013. >> how do you decide that? >> you have to run the numbers. are you in the alternative minimum tax rate and you have to really run your numbers and look at 2012 or 2013. you may be a higher bracket in 2013 and may want to take the deductions in 2013 rather than 2012. >> if you want to review the 2012 taxes you say prepaid state income taxes. >> if you pay the state income taxes that may be due next april 159 you have a large capitol gains maybe you sold something you can do that. one of the things you have to keep in mind in doing all of this you have to figure out the alternative minimum tax. there are two systems of taxation. th
tax hikes don't go in to effect. president obama on friday saying he would accept a deal as long as it does not allow taxes to go up on middle class americans, as long as it extends unemployment insurance and lays the groundwork for deficit reduction in the future. so there's sort of scaling back their expectations. house speaker boehner tried to get an alternative bill passed through the house last week. that failed. the focus shifts to the senate. reid and mcconnell will really be charged with trying to hammer out the fine details of that deal that can make it through the senate and through the house so that is the challenge moving forward. of course, president obama here in hawaii for his christmas cray case. he played some golf over the weekend. also, attended the memorial service for the late senator daniel inouye. thomas, on a much lighter note, he asked me had i taken my flip flops out last hour. i hadn't but i did since my work is wrapping up for you guys, flip flops are out and i'm ready to join those folks on the beach behind me. >> i'm very proud of you. i don't want t
, talking to staffers on the hill, trying to get some movement in this process. now, president obama, taking real will a tough line on that issue of taxes, it's the big sticking point, has been all along and past negotiations, of course president obama has been criticized by democrats who say that he's given in too quickly on the issue of taxes. of course he campaigned on the issue of raising taxes on wealthier americans. so this time he's not backing down. so these negotiations have really been centered, to some extent, on that issue of taxes. the president really using his bully pulpit to try to pressure congress, congressional republicans, making a number of public appearances, include, of course, during that exclusive interview on "meet the press" today when he said that republicans are to blame for this fiscal cliff stalemate. chris? >> kristin welker, thanks to you and thanks to nbc's kelly o'donnell on the hill as well. more ahead this hour as we continue to cover the ongoing negotiations on the hill. why a small deal now would set up a big fight later. more on secretary of state hill
to the death tax. six of the wealthiest estates are the difference between what president obama warrants and jon kyl wants, $119 billion over ten years. for those 600,000 estates to give $119 billion away and instead take it out on cuts on medicare and roads and education is unconscionable. >> the bigger picture for a second. we've known for two years that these tax cuts would be expiring the day after tomorrow or the end of the day tomorrow. we've known these automatic cuts, the so-called -- this was going to be happening for more than a year. respect you a little embarrassed as leaders in the congress that it has gotten to this point that tomorrow is new year's eve, the day it all expires and you still don't have an agreement? we've been having this argument for two years. >> it is embarrassing but almost every disagreement we've this is not because of a senate where we've had lots of -- we've come to agreement on many things. there are 50 hard right people in the house who don't want to compromise. they don't believe in any revenues, they say compromise is a dirty word and speaker boe
. >> right. do you macro look at the obama care taxes as being a headwind? >> sure. it's 3.8% on not marginal income tax rates. it's unearned income. but whether it's medical device tax, a question i was going to have for les is whether he sees any delays. do you see any delays in any of the implementations of these. obviously whether it's in minnesota with respect to the medical device tax, senators are talking about delaying implementation until they study this further. do you see that happening? >> seems unlikely. i mean, i know as an ex-minnesotan that they would love to see this tax go away. i'm not sure that that's in the cards. i think it's a fait accompli. it will take longer than people think leading to chaos. in 2014, states that don't expand to medicaid, it's going to leave people in the hole in 2014. i'm not sure how these people will afford insurance without the subsidies. that's 2014, we'll come back next year and worry about that. >> pharma tech has nothing to do with obama care. >> absolutely not. that's why it's done well, between drugs and interest rates. >> so it had nothin
off to hawaii, president obama was prepared to accept a smaller deal as long as it prevented taxes from going up on middle class americans and extended unemployment insurance. >> i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it pass both chambers, and i will immediately sign that legislation into law before january 1st of next year. >> reporter: but americans say the uncertainty in washington is casting a cloud over their holidays. >> they are responsible for the well-being of all americans, and right now they're more woern wored about politics. >> i would tell them to get off their butts, because most of us aren't making six-figure incomes and we need every single dime that we have. >> reporter: now, if we go over the fiscal cliff, taxes will increase for most americans. lawmakers will return to washington later this week to resume negotiations. president obama is also expected to cut his vacation short. willie, back to you. >> kristen welker in honolulu this morning. thanks. >>> john harwood is the chief washington correspondent and writing for "the new yo
to force president obama and the senate democrats to agree on fundamental tax reform. what do you think about that? >> we will get fundamental tax reform i believe as a part of the debt ceiling debate. going over the cliff means that our economy goes in the tank. we've got a very small recovery going on here. it would destroy the recovery, and jon's son is a first lieutenant, going over the cliff means that we start to dismantle the best and finest military in the history of the world at the time we need it the most. so that is unacceptable, that means i've got to vote for something i don't like, raising rates is something i don't like. i think it's a bad idea. but it's going to happen because barack obama insists that it happen. but let me tell you this. he had the courage of his convictions to raise tax rates, i'm going to have the courage of my convictions not to raise the debt ceiling until we reform our nation and stop becoming greece and finally stop getting out of debt. i hope republicans will fight as hard on the debt ceiling as barack obama did on tax rate. uma: you call everyt
for. payroll tax, that's $160 million. we have obama care taxes. we know those are going through. >> the payroll tax number going up again? >> payroll tax, i think they're not going to extend it. so that goes up -- >> sooner or later they have to go up. >> that's $160 billion -- >> don't we need that money? >> funding social security. so it's very likely that that tax cut will not be extended into the new year. so there's a chance you have a mild recession, even in real terms, in the first half of next year. the good news, i think, my big prediction, i've had for awhile for whatever it's worth, i think we're developing a new nifty 50 in this country of very, very strong companies that are almost bond proxies. and i know a lot of people think they're expensive, but there's no other alternative. there's no other place to go. >> is the market priced appropriately for your estimation -- >> no, i don't think. >> for the first half of 2013. >> if you look at bottom of analyst estimates for 2013 they're still using 113, 114 for operating earnings, an 11% increase. that's with profit mar
, the budget impact will be as obama care gets implemented. the president to ris credit ran on tier taxes for the rich. he said he was going to do it and now he won the election and he's doing it. if they raise taxes on those 400 thigh, or million, it is a tax increase but that's an issue that they'll have to fight out. that 1990 budget tax increase still scars the republican party today. two decades later. they learned lessons, remember that george h.w. bush who we're glad to hear is recovering, was defeated running for re-election. that memory lasts a long time. >> the neerk times sa"the new yd it's been a long time. we have congressman keith from minnesota. from you're standpoint and from the standpoint of the house progressive caucus is there a bottom line? if the threshold is too high you won't support a deal? >> well, there are bottom lines. but the most important bottom line is -- no cuts to social security beneficiaries, medicare, medicaid beneficiaries. we need the defense department -- defense is going to have to share in what everybody cuts we see. the most well to-do people ar
can sell this to either their base or to the house at least as a tax cut, not a rise in taxes? >> chuck schumer brought up a good point. a key moment of these entire negotiations came on wednesday night when president obama calls mitch mcconnell, bring the republican leader in the process. what happens now is very important. as sam said, they'll be negotiating today and over the weekend in the senate. and if this $250,000 comes to the floor, if a few republicans attach themselves to what reid and obama agree to, then that means when it pose gophers to the house it has a much better chance of attracting republican support. if mitch mcconnell aligns republicans and tells everyone to oppose it in the senate republican conference, the chances of it succeeding in the house are pretty low. >> sam, is this the end of the road for grover norquist and his pledge? >> it's odd because grover was the one sort of outside government institution on the conservative side who agreed with speaker boehner's plan "b" which would have allowed taxes to go up above $1 million in income. all the othe
of that depends upon whether president obama is willing to compromise this sort of fixation with raising taxes above anybody making more than $200,000 a year. >> reed and mcconnell are both very good leaders and vote counters. if they come to an agreement, they know that they will be able to carry a majority of each of their troops. the real question mark is the house. the house is a bit out of control. they're the reason we've had the problems all along but my guess, if the house and senate agree and leader mcconnell agrees, the house will go along with it too. >> senator -- >> i would just say it is not out of control to want to do something about our runaway spending in our country. >> you've got to compromise. you've got to compromise. >> senator schumer, senator kyl, thank you very much for joining us and i hope you are right to be optimistic. >>> up next the house has its say. are they ready to vote yes on a potential deal that may come from the senate? >>> plus, our powerhouse roundtable waiting in the wings their take on the toxic environment in washington, the fiscal cliff and their p
house and congressional leaders to reach a budget deal to avoid tax increases for nearly every american. president obama is on vacation in hawaii, and that's where we find nancy cordes tonight. nancy, what can you tell us? >> well, jim, still no conversations today between owmocrats and republicans on how to avert the fiscal cliff, which is a sure sign that the senate majority leader, harry reid, a democrat, is working on crafting legislation on his own that he would essentially dare house and senate republicans to oppose. his legislation would likely extend the bush-era tax cuts for households making less than 250,000 a year. it might also include enough short-term spending cuts to temporarily offset for, say, six or eight months, the indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts that are set to go into effect on january 1. yis bill would also try to tie up some year-end loose ends by extending long-term unemployment benefits, patching the alternative minimum tax that duds up hitting so many middle class families, and preventing a mbg scheduled drop-off in thdicare reimbursement rates
or an alternative plan that would continue unemployment benefits and keep taxes at the bush era level? guest: i'm not sure that anybody knows. and that includes president obama, joe biden, senator reid, speaker boehner. there are not the many hours left until the new year. the players involved are all aware of that. that has not made enough of a difference to change the negotiations. we will know more as the house and senate members return to the hill this morning. then we will know if we're going over the fiscal cliff at midnight. host: edward-isaac dovere, thank you for being with us. guest: thank you. host: the senate action getting underway about 11:00 a.m. and we will have live coverage of what happens on each floor of the chamber as lawmakers will meet with reporters. this is from joseph ramirez. "the blame game continues" is the headline from "usa today." charles is joining us from texas. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i think we are in trouble either way. president obama was known to be the most extravagant senator when he was in office and never had a job as far as
on taxes. speaking in the white house briefing room, president obama condemned congress for failing to resolve its differences in any normal way. >> christin, let's take a listen to what the president said about the up or down vote about what he expects to emerge from the senate. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. i'm optimistic. if an agreement isn't reached in time, between senate store reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. i believe such a proposal could pass with bipartisan majorities. >> this up or down vote seems to be the big news of the day. isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it's president's obama's way of sayi ining vote on his basic proposal. it would extend in employment insurance ben filt fits and deal with unemployment insurance cuts. >> so the question is, could they actually get that many republicans to vote for this package that t
. the average american household would see their tax bill go up nearly $3,500. this evening, president obama telling congress, the american people are watching what we're doing here. he appeared in the briefing room a short time ago. let's go right to jon carl tonight. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, david. there are finally signs of life here in washington. after meeting with congressional leaders here at the white house, the president pronounced himself modestly optimistic that a bipartisan agreement can finally be struck that would prevent taxes from going up on virtually everybody in just four days. after meeting with the congressional leaders, the president said there would be one more effort to come to a bipartisan agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically, self-inflicted wound to our economy. >> reporter: there are signs of progress. mitch mcconnell and harry reid have agreed to spend the next 24 hours trying to come to a bipartisan agreement on a small
to a close, the head of aetna is back with us winding up for higher taxes in 2013 thanks to obama care. wait until you hear how high he thinks they could go. you're watching cnbc, first in business worldwide. is the best. i don't have to leave my desk and get up and go to the post office anymore. [ male announcer ] with you can print real u.s. postage for all your letters and packages. i have exactly the amount of postage i need, the instant i need it. can you print only stamps? no... first class. priority mail. certified. international. and the mail man picks it up. i don't leave the shop anymore. [ male announcer ] get a 4 week trial plus $100 in extras including postage and a digital scale. go to and never go to the post office again. >>> well, we're getting numbers in. turns out retailers saw the weakest holiday season since 2008 hurt by bad weather and more uncertainty about the rising tax increases that could come next year. we're wondering if the concerns will continue to keep shoppers from spending into 2013. >> let's ask our guests. ladies, thanks
. >> juliet: president obama continues to push for tax hikes on the rich. and france lost a bid to raise taxes and he want today raise to 75%. now, there weren't a lot of people he was focused on, really not that much money, he was going to raise, but the fact is he wanted the french judicial council, however, said it would have been excessive and unconstitutional. joining us-- >> sorry, dave. >> dave: and for tax foundation from the heritage foundation. >> juliet: good morning, curtis. >> good morning. >> dave: what's the deal here, the decision made is not unconstitutional, but bottom line, bad for the economy? i think we can learn from this? >> that's right, the court has bailed them out. and the tax increase, 75% rate was going to really damage the french economy. the french economy's already strugglingling and adding on the economy would be worse. >> i'm looking at it, expected to be a temporary two year measure and affect 1500 people and raise less than 661 million dollars. >> but the revenue we brought in, and what it would have done, it would have reduced the incentives, and working an
back underway. >> not until after christmas. and wednesday, most likely on thursday. president obama on vacation in hawaii until after christmas has insisted taxes on the wealthy be increased aen one of his democratic allies said today that position should come as no surprise to anyone. >> on taxes, i know it's hard for the republicans, but the president ran on that platform, 250, no tax increases people below, but taxes for people above. he won 60% of the voters said they were for it in the exit polls, including some republicans. >> and of course, if nothing is done by year's end, taxes will go up for everyone, harris. >> harris: steve centanni, thank you very much. new information tonight on the condition of president george h.w. bush. as you may know he's been hospitalized just before thanksgiving with a lingering cough from a bout with bronchitis. and doctors say that president bush is recovering, but he must build up his strength where he can go home. he's 88 years old and undergoing physical therapy to do just that, to build up his energy. however, right now, doctors are not su
, the most likely deal on the table seems to be that scaled-down proposal president obama suggested last fright. just to recap, extend tax cuts on household income under $250,000, that's 98% of americans. extend unemployment insurance. that's important. and likely extend the alternative minimum tax fix. but is this bared down plan something house republicans can really get behind? "outfront" tonight to answer that question, republican congressman tom mcclintock of california, a member of the house budget committee. mr. congressman, good to see you. could you back that scaled back plan to avoid going over the fiscal cliff? >> as i said all along, republicans don't want taxes to go up on anyone. if we have an impasse on january 1st, they go up on everyone. so at some point, i think that we republicans have got to realize that if we can't save everybody, we need to try to save as many people as possible. that's not advocating a tax increase. if a lifeguard sees ten people drowning off his beach and can only save nine of them, it doesn't mean he's drowned the tenth one. >> you're a strong, f
to prevent massive spending cuts and tax hikes from kicking in january 1st. president obama appeared today on nbc's "meet the press" and said the cuts in spending need to be fairly distributed. >> what i'm not willing to do is to have the entire burden of deficit reduction rest on the shoulders of seniors making students pay a higher student loan rates, ruining our capacity to invest in things like basic research that help our economy grow. >> in news overseas the bodies of the dead are being carried away in syria today. at least 397 people were killed saturday. that is the deadliest day so far in the 21-month long civil war. another 52 died today. the joint u.n. arab league envoy said the situation is rapidly deteriorating but that a solution is still possible. >>> in massachusetts boston's mayor lifted a snow emergency a little earlier today. more than a foot of snow fell on several towns across that state overnight. crews are clearing tons of snow in the gillette stadium now preparing for the patriots/dolphins game this afternoon. >>> keep it here as the clock ticks to the fiscal cliff.
ought to get this done for the middle class. i think obama was saying to boehner look, i don't need to give that. >> $700 billion just for getting the middle class tax through. just for that. yeah. >> this is what he told his members in the congress. because of stories like this, that can paint the picture to the voters that obama's not playing ball. >> trying to explain this to somebody from pluto. say in australia now. saying when congress wrote the cliff, defined it, spend cuts, increases on income, tax increase on state. they wrote it up as this horrible thing that nobody would want to face. either side, right? they designed it that way. now they're walking right over that cliff. over niagra falls. explain. >> it's like congress is on pluto and we're all on earth. they say they want deficit reduction. if you go over the cliff, you get deficit reduction, you just don't get it in the responsible, accountable way. it's like chopping off on arm. >> like says i want a shower, i'm going to niagra falls. >> they still can't get it done. we're dysfunctional. no other explanation. >> i t
obama wants them to cut off at $250,000 so for folks making less, they don't see their taxes increase and the spending cuts that are set to kick in and it's yet to be determined if that will be part of the smaller measure. we're waiting to see what harry reid comes up with. >> so if he comes up with something, all right, brianna, traveling with the president in honolulu. thank you. dana. >>> the big question is you and brianna were talking about is -- can congress come back here, which they're planning on doing on thursday, and can they figure some way to avert an economic disaster? joining me to talk about that and more, richard is back with us, former writer for clinton and nice to see you guys again. i want to play for both of you, something that grover nor kquis and he's famous for making the republicans sign a no-tax pledge. listen to what he told me. >> this is a long fight. four years of a fight and not one week of a fight. and to your earlier question, does the president want to take us over the cliff? i think now, he does. >> okay, i'll start with you as our resident republic
.s. >>> the cliffhanger over the budget impasse in waington. tonight, president obama cut short his vacation in hawaii, just six days before the deadline for big cuts and tax hikes. >>> the war next door. they say the borders are more secure than ever. but look what hidden cameras found on one man's land on this side of the border. drug smuggling, alive and well. >>> and fashion police. as retailers report on the all-important shopping season, we report on a trend you might have missed. just what do these mannequins see in you? "nightly news" begins now. >>> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. >> good evening, i'm natalie morales in tonight for brian. and we begin with serious winter weather that is moving east. rain, snow and wind that is snarling a lot of travel plans for those trying to make it home from holiday travels. it is the same storm system that is responsible for at least three deaths and spawned record-setting tornadoes in the south over the past 24 hours. we have it all covered, and we begin with the experts who are always out in
of those bush tax rates into the future and would turn off the sequester by switching defense cuts over to domestic programs. democrats, of course have no intention of doing that. especially after president obama won the election. senate democratic leadership aide tells me that will remains a 50/50 chance we will get a mini deal temporary extension of tax cuts under $250,000 before the january 1 deadline when we would go over the cliff. will are no assurances of that. a white house official told me as president obama prepares to fly back to conduct and participate in the negotiations at the end, there has been no progress over the holiday weekend. michelle, i'm afraid that people who are looking for a deal and looking for a deal by december 31, all hope is not lost. it is not looking good at the moment. >> let's go back to this hitting the debt ceiling on monday. we learned of this because treasury secretary tim good night mother sent a letter to the honorable harry reid majority leader. and that's where he outline it is fact that in three business days, the summit government is going t
. and a mad scramble is on here in washington to avoid the drastic tax hikes and spending cuts that many fear will plunge the economy back into recession. president obama flies back from hawaii tonight to be ready if the senate comes back with a plan when it returns to work tomorrow. and house leaders are huddling with members on stand-by to return. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is following all of it for us. what are you hearing? >> there was a conference call of course members of the house leadership even, they're back in their districts, but there was a conference call today among those house republican leaders trying to figure out if and when the house should come back into session. two republican sources tell me they did not make a decision on this call. it's still up in the air. and a big reason for that is if anything can get done in the next six days, the ball is in the senate's court. the capitol is a ghost town. neither chamber in session. an eerie calm since the fiscal cliff only congress has the power to avert is less than one week away. from their home, senate demo
'neill. obama needs to be ronald reagan. would vote for revenues, including tax rate hikes, even though i don't like them to save the country from becoming greece but i'm not going to set aside the 1.2 trillion in cuts. any hope of going over the fiscal cliff must start in the senate. not one democrat would support the idea that we could protect 99% of americans from a tax increase. boehner's plan b i thought made as soon as. to my republican kcolleagues, te the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want, that's a good day. i lime simpson-bowles. the president is going to get tax rate hikes. to my republican colleagues, if we can protect 99% of the public from a tax hike that, is not a tax increase in my book. chuck, maybe you and me and some other people in the senate can find a way to find this on the short term but on the long term there's not going to be a deal any time soon. >> you think we're going to go over the cliff? >> i think we're going to fall out of the fiscal tree. the big chance at the big deal is at the debt ceiling. that's when we'll have leverage to turn the cou
moderate republicans they are willing to vote for a tax rate increase which is exactly what president obama has asked for. but they won't do it unless there are significant spending cuts and the promise of entitlement reform on the table. democrats have really at this point been unwilling to go in that direction. they believe they made cuts a couple years ago that were significant, and the entitlement reform is something they're not really willing to negotiate on right now because they feel it would, you know, endanger seniors and the poor. so a lot of this really has to do with spending cuts. everybody's focused on the tax issue, but i believe really the key to compromise here is going to be watch what happens with the spending cuts. if they can get significant spending cuts and the promise of entitlement reform, that's when you'll see these negotiations really get going. jon: well, that seemed to be part of what john boehner was bringing forward, the plan b. his caucus was ready to go with the tax increases on, you know, high earners in this country. but they didn't seem to be getting eno
looks like. the one on the table is still the old plan a. president obama's offer to raise taxes on the top 2%, restore the bush era tax cuts for the rest of us. yes there is talk about putting in spending cuts, raising medicare eligibility and changing the inflation measure for social security but that is still the one on the table. then there is the alternatives. the house passing that existing senate bill that's out there that would raise taxes on the top 2%. that doesn't include sequestration though. sequestration could happen so they have to either let it happen or insert some kind of stop-gap in there. the other one of course is just literally to extend everything for another month. extend all the cuts to the end of january and simply delay sequestration and of course that is the least desirable but that may be in fact the one that happens right now. let's move on and show you the market is still not very worried about it. the five-month high on an intraday basis on friday but still staying within that trading range that has been in for a while now. not really busting out a
. the bush era tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. obama was elected with a surplus of about 3 million votes. he won the election. he campaigned on this issue. again, the speaker can't take yes for an answer. the president has presented to him something that would prevent us from going over the cliff. it was in response to something the speaker gave to the president himself, but, again, i guess with the dysfunctional republican caucus in the house even the speaker can't tell what he's going to do because he backed off even his own proposal. mr. president, the house, we hear this so often, is controlled by the reap warnings and we acknowledge that. i would be most happy to move forward on something that senator mcconnell said they wouldn't filibuster over here that he would support and that boehner would support, if it were reasonable, but right now we haven't heard anything. i don't know, and it's none of my business, i guess, although i am very serious, if the speaker and the majority leader, the republican leader over here are even talking. i mean, what's going on here? mr. p
of the story while leaders wrangle on the details, president obama made his first sunday show appearance in three years, sitting down with nbc's david gregory this morning to talk about the fiscal cliff. >> i'm arguing for maintaining tax cuts for 98% of americans. i don't think anybody would consider that some liberal left wing agenda. that used to be considered a republican mainstream agenda. >> joining me senator olympia sn snowe of maine. let me start with that. it does seem sort of counter intuitive to have republicans wanting to fight for tax hikes for no one and in that fight, being willing to allow tax hikes for everyone? >> you know, i would agree with that. obviously it is important to make sure that middle income america does not confront a tax increase at the beginning of next year, which is less than two days away. that is critical. the second part is, of course, is trying to address the spending cuts that are going to be crucial next year as well. more for the long-term debt reduction that i think republicans are talking about, but the bottom line is, we should pass this ta
of the year . president obama knows this and set to expire is the bush era tax cuts . what impact will this have on the military? >> it will have an across the board impactit sequestration is so bad. we'll get across the board training to maintenance and to the next weapon system and on base things provided for families and tri-care. it hits everything. secretary panetta called it a meat axe. our readiness will be stunted by sequestration . it is bad policy. >> clayton: republicans agreed to it. you agree and say this is never going to happen. because we will get this thing done . now eight days done. is it possible to go through with a fine tooth comb and pick through. senator sessions said the fiscal cliff is like three days away. we have to read it to sign off on it. >> that's the worst. no, this is not time. let's reform it and go about it with a squaple. meet axe hacks it across the board. either we are going off of the cliff or bad short-term deal that kicks the can down the road. we need to reform quick kick in the can. >> clayton: secretary panetta, set to take over him. w
to the white house this afternoon to meet there with president obama. lawmakers are increasingly looking at the period following the december 31st deadline we're told to come up with a fix to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts, affect lives of nearly every american many economists say could plunge the economy into another recession. chief white house correspondent ed henry live with the latest. so in this meeting, ed, is there any hope they will accomplish anything? >> reporter: well it is pretty low expectations, jon. what we're expecting when you talk to top officials of both parties the president will offer a scaled back plan, something he laid out lines friday before christmas here in the white house briefing room before he went to hawaii. where he said look, we have to scale back expectations. basically just extend middle class tax cuts. don't worry about the rates for everyone else. secondly extend unememployment insurance for about two million people who will be losing it a few days from now at the end of the year. finally he refer to possibility of smaller bit ever spendin
. thanks to you in los angeles. >>> and in washington tonight, president obama is cutting his christmas vacation short to try to cut a deal as that fiscal cliff nears. now just six days until higher taxes for all americans. and tonight, a white house official is placing the burden of not getting a deal on leaders of congress. one official saying the hits from our economy are not coming from outside factors, they're coming from congressional stupidity. some members of congress do return tomorrow. these comments come just as barbara walters prepares for her "nightline" special tonight. her sitdown at the white house with the president and the first lady. and tonight here, some rare personal questions answered about their own relationship and their girls. one of whom just got her first cell phone. >> reporter: i want to talk a bit about the girls. we have been watching them grow up from little girls to young ladies. now, malia recently got her first cell phone. do you monitor it? and see who she calls or who she texts? >> i give my daughter, at this age, i give her a long rope. you know, a
, and chip reid is in washington. >> president obama will be arriving in washington tomorrow and both houses of congress will be back in session tomorrow. that will give them just five days to put together a deal to avoid the massive automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. >> president obama spent christmas day visiting with troops in hawaii. >> while back in washington uncertainty about the looming fiscal cliff continues. there has been to communication between republicans and democrats about how to avoid going over the cliff. before the christmas break, speaker john boehner was unable to get enough support from respects to pass his plan and help said it was up to the white house and the senate to avert the cliff. so now harry reid is believed to be crafting a plan of his own. it's expected to extend bush-era tax cuts. it would also include short-term spending cuts instead of the massive cuts that would occur if there is no deal. it would also patch up the alternative minimum tax that will hit even more middle class families and schedule a
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